Time Out For The Record Business

I've noted with great interest the record labels' entry into the digital space recently with special interest in having it their way. They want to be in on the tsunami known as social networking (YouTube, MySpace, et al) as well as preserving their digital copyrights. Well, they're both late to the party and fighting a battle they cannot win. The record business is broken because of their deep desire to hold onto the past (Say CD). They see themselves as manufacturers (Hear them say "product", "units"). Their long-time partner in hit-making ain't what they used to be (radio -- growing less influential as a source for new music for young people). They see themselves as gatekeepers of copyright protection (RIAA lawsuits can't stop piracy). Even the present generation admits that a lot of the music the labels are hawking is long in the tooth (Hip-Hop, for example -- what's next?). The future of the music business is in social networking (they are more obstructionist than constructionist). It's time for a time out. Labels are in desperate need of a play date with young entrepreneurs (turn them loose, send your lawyers on vacation). Labels need to lead not follow (music drives social networking, build social networks). They need to bust into the mobile space (mobile is the future and music will be a big part of it). If the labels find themselves saying "we're doing these things already", they're cooked. Just ask any Internet-savvy, mobile connected, multitasking representative of the next generation.